Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812 and died in 1870. He’s the author of A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations and other classic novels. Now here are some things you may not know about Charles Dickens.
1 – As a child, his family was always on the verge of economic collapse. Everything fell apart for the family in 1827. Dickens’ father was sent the Marshalsea debtors’ prison and young Charles was sent to work in Warren’s Blacking Factory. These incidents would haunt Dickens for the rest of his life.
2 – Dickens worked as law clerk, a court stenographer and even contemplated becoming an actor. Luckily for us, Dickens was ill on the day of his audition at the Lyceum Theater and couldn’t go. Can you imagine a life without Scrooge? If Dickens, who was a talented actor, had attended his audition he might not have written A Christmas Carol.
3 – In his early writing he called himself Boz. Boz? You see, one of his favorite characters in Goldsmith’s Vicar of Wakefield was called Moses. Moses became Boses which became Boz.
4 – Dickens married Catherine Hogarth in 1835. There were some happy years, but in 1958 they were legally separated. One of the reasons for the separation was Dickens’ interest in the actress, Ellen Ternan.
Dickens met Ellen in 1857. Matters came to a head the next year when a bracelet that Dickens bought as a present for Ellen was accidentally delivered to the Dickens household. In a scene straight from a soap opera, Catherine discovered the bracelet and accused Charles of having an affair.
5 – One of the most fascinating aspects of Charles Dickens is that he understood the power of the media. Yes, even in the Victorian Era people had to worry about the press. In September of 1860, behind his home at Gad’s Hill Place, Charles Dickens tried to cover his tracks. He gathered “the accumulated letters and papers of twenty years” and set them ablaze in his backyard. What could we have learned had he not taken this action? We’ll never know.
The dictionary tells us that sympathy is a felling of pity or sorrow for someone else’s misfortune. And here’s how it’s used in quotes by the masters of literature.
My heart was fashioned to be susceptible of love and sympathy, and when wrenched by misery to vice and hatred, it did not endure the violence of the change without torture such as you cannot even imagine. ~ Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
I don’t know if it be a peculiarity in me, but I am seldom otherwise than happy while watching in the chamber of death, should no frenzied or despairing mourner share the duty with me. I see a repose that neither earth nor hell can break; and I feel an assurance of the endless and shadowless hereafter – the Eternity they have entered – where life is boundless in its duration, and love in its sympathy, and joy in its fulness. ~ Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
“Oh! I have a heart to be stabbed in or shot in, I have no doubt,” said Estella, “and of course if it ceased to beat I should cease to be. But you know what I mean. I have no softness there, no—sympathy—sentiment—nonsense.” ~ Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
He spoke wistfully of a sudden leaving, a breaking of old ties, a flight into a strange world, ending in this dreary valley, and Ettie listened, her dark eyes gleaming with pity and with sympathy – those two qualities which may turn so rapidly and so naturally to love. ~ The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Happy New Year! I thought I’d start out 2015 by adding some quotes to the site. Here are some of my favorites from the new quotes. Remember that if you have a quote that you’d like to see added to the site, you can contribute a quote.
“Many are the strange chances of the world,” said Mithrandir, “and help oft shall come from the hands of the weak when the Wise falter.” ~ The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien
Why do they always teach us that it’s easy and evil to do what we want and that we need discipline to restrain ourselves? It’s the hardest thing in the world—to do what we want. And it takes the greatest kind of courage. I mean, what we really want. ~ The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
He seemed a kind of cannon loaded to the muzzle with facts, and prepared to blow them clean out of the regions of childhood at one discharge. He seemed a galvanizing apparatus, too, charged with a grim mechanical substitute for the tender young imaginations that were to be stormed away. ~ Hard Times by Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens (1812 to 1870) is possibly best known for A Christmas Carol. However that’s not his only work that features ghostly phrasings. Here are five quotes from other works to give you a pre-Halloween thrill.
“I will die here where I have walked. And I will walk here, though I am in my grave. I will walk here until the pride of this house is humbled.” ~ Bleak House by Charles Dickens
I saw that the bride within the bridal dress had withered like the dress, and like the flowers, and had no brightness left but the brightness of her sunken eyes. ~ Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
“I have heard it said that as we keep our birthdays when we are alive, so the ghosts of dead people, who are not easy in their graves, keep the day they died upon.” ~ Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens
Around and around the house the leaves fall thick, but never fast, for they come circling down with a dead lightness that is sombre and slow. ~ Bleak House by Charles Dickens
There was a frosty rime upon the trees, which, in the faint light of the clouded moon, hung upon the smaller branches like dead garlands. ~ The Battle of Life by Charles Dickens
On the motionless branches of some trees, autumn berries hung like clusters of coral beads, as in those fabled orchards where the fruits were jewels. ~ Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens
It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet. ~ The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
The place, with its gray sky and withered garlands, its bared spaces and scattered dead leaves, was like a theater after the performance–all strewn with crumpled playbills. ~ The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
He lowered the window, and looked out at the rising sun. There was a ridge of ploughed land, with a plough upon it where it had been left last night when the horses were unyoked; beyond, a quiet coppice-wood, in which many leaves of burning red and golden yellow still remained upon the trees. Though the earth was cold and wet, the sky was clear, and the sun rose bright, placid, and beautiful. ~ A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
“How beautiful you are! You are more beautiful in anger than in repose. I don’t ask you for your love; give me yourself and your hatred; give me yourself and that pretty rage; give me yourself and that enchanting scorn; it will be enough for me.” ~ The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens
“Holy men? Holy cabbages! Holy bean-pods! What do they do but live and suck in sustenance and grow fat? If that be holiness, I could show you hogs in this forest who are fit to head the calendar. Think you it was for such a life that this good arm was fixed upon my shoulder, or that head placed upon your neck? There is work in the world, man, and it is not by hiding behind stone walls that we shall do it.” ~ The White Company by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
“My daughter, there are times of moral danger when the hardest virtuous resolution to form is flight, and when the most heroic bravery is flight.” ~ Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
By this, he seemed to mean, not only that the most reliable and useful courage was that which arises from the fair estimation of the encountered peril, but that an utterly fearless man is a far more dangerous comrade than a coward. ~ Moby Dick by Herman Melville